NEW YORK (AP) — Gamine led all the way in winning the $300,000 Acorn Stakes for 3-year-old fillies by 18 3/4 lengths at Belmont on Saturday (June 10).
Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Gamine ran one mile in 1:32.55, fastest in the 90-year history of the race. Her time was just off the track record of 1:32.24 set by Najran in 2003. Gamine earned 50 qualifying points for the Kentucky Oaks on Sept. 4 at Churchill Downs.
Gamine is one of two horses trained by Baffert that tested positive for a banned substance at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas. She won a race there on May 2. Published reports said Gamine, along with Charlatan, tested positive for lidocaine, a regulated anesthetic widely used in equine medicine.
It’s considered a Class 2 drug by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, and use of it carries a penalty of a 15- to 60-day suspension and a fine of US$500 to US$1,000 for a first offense. Without mitigating circumstances, a horse would be disqualified and forfeit its purse. Results of B sample tests have not been announced by the Arkansas Racing Commission.
Under Hall of Fame John Velazquez, Gamine won her stakes debut and improved to 3-0 in her career. Sent off as the 3-5 favourite, she paid $3.40 to win. The victory boosted her career earnings to $234,000. Gamine was purchased for $1.8 million.
“She did everything I wanted her to do,” said Velazquez, whose fifth win in the Acorn tied Mike Smith for most in the race among jockeys. “She’s a little bit on the aggressive side, but I let her relax around the backstretch. Once we got to the five-sixteenths pole I let her run. By the quarter-pole she opened up so quickly I had to look back. She’s very nice and professional. I wish they were all that easy.”
Pleasant Orb finished second, and Water White was another half-length back in third.